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Lists the various WWE wrestlers who are currently part of the WWE NXT Developmental System. Please limit associated tropes to that wrestler's time in WWE.
When a wrestler gets either released or called up to the main roster (Raw, Smackdown, etc.), remove them from here. If the latter, also add them to the respective character pages: New Era (for male singles wrestlers), Divas, or Tag Teams. When they get an independent page, remove the tropes and put a link in to their page.
For the wrestlers of the UK brand, go here.
Television rosterContains Superstars who have made their debut and currently appear regularly and primarily on NXT's weekly show.
Jake Atlas (Kenny Marquez)
- Finishing Move: The Rainbow DDT.
Finn Bálor (Fergal Devitt)
Boa (Yanbo Wang)
Tommaso Ciampa (Tommaso Whitney)
Cameron Grimes (Trevor Caddell)
- Carpet of Virility: Sports noticeably thick chest hair along with his Badass Beard.
- Catchphrase: "To...the...MOON!"
- Finishing Move: The Cave-In which is a quick and sudden Goomba Stomp. No, seriously. Look at it. The suddenness of this move makes it an effective One-Hit KO.
- Meaningful Name: "Grimes" refers to his physical, one could almost argue 'dirty' style of wrestling. "Cameron" is a Shout-Out to his birthplace of Cameron, North Carolina.
- Nice Hat: Sets off his otherwise rather unassuming ring gear with one of these.
- Nouveau Riche: He managed to get rich by investing in GameStop and Dogecoin, getting so much money that he doesn't know what to do with it and just throwing wads of cash away.
- Oh, Crap!: When it was announced that Grimes would be going one-on-one in a "Haunted House of Terrors" match with resident Creepy Good Stalker Without a Crush Dexter Lumis, Grimes' ever-present shit-eating grin slid off his face instantly.
- Red Baron: "The Technical Savage."
- Signature Move: The "Collision Course", a Fallaway Moonsault Slam. It's usually used as a counter to the crossbody.
- Squash Match: Uncommonly for non-monster heel types, he's been on the giving end of a couple of these. Once beat Sean Maluta with one move in just under 8 seconds.
- Troll: His heel character is basically a country boy with an extremely loud mouth that likes poking the proverbial bear.
Karrion Kross (Kevin Kesar)
- The Dreaded: Within three moves, he already had Tom Phillips calling him Satan.
- After being squashed by both Kross in his debut match where the above three moves happened, and by Kross's first pay-per-view opponent Tommaso Ciampa a week or two later, Leon Ruff described how facing Ciampa had him scared for his career... but facing Kross had him scared for his life.
- Scarlett came down with an hourglass after one of Adam Cole's matches and turned it upside down, signifying the end of his NXT Championship reign was coming soon. Cole got so scared he started clutching his title. The Tollman's girlfriend showing up with an hourglass did that to ADAM COLE. That's how scary Karrion Kross is after not even two months.
- Establishing Character Moment: With Scarlett in tow, he had several for every stage of his debut.
- First vignette introduces his ominous fare about doomsday and the end complete with stock videos amid his own scenes.
- First in-show appearances involve stalking Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa during their feud, before finally pouncing after the feud is over by violently throwing Ciampa around the backstage area.
- First match is fit to be described under a different trope below: Something Completely Different.
- Expy: Of Dexter Lumis, who ironically was radically altered following Kross's debut on the main roster. Which has led to a bit of a Fandom Rivalry between the two wrestlers fanbases.
- Fan Nickname: "Karen" Kross, due to fans laughing at how the WWE forced Kross to change "Killer" to "Karrion" and the fact that Scarlett does all the talking for him, like a Karen might talk to a manager.
- Horsemen of the Apocalypse: "He is time, famine, war, pestilence you cannot ignore." Time instead of death? Wait, no. The next lyric in that says "The end is here" and he's always talking about Doomsday. The "time" in question in that lyric is in fact death.
- Mad Eye: The most convincing rabid-animal face in wrestling since Edge, with a seemingly permanent on-switch.
- Meaningful Name: Karrion/Carrion is the decaying flesh of the dead. It also sounds fairly similar to Charon, The Ferryman of the dead in Classical Mythology. In Kross's pre-Performance Center days, they'd called him The Tollman (among other things) and bestowed upon him the moniker of Killer. Additionally, his pre-debut imagery incorporated vultures, which are also known as carrion birds.
- Red Baron: He and Scarlett already share one, The Tandem of Terror.
- Something Completely Different: Like Dexter Lumis, Karrion Kross represents the encrouchment of sports entertainment into the workrate driven NXT, complete with elaborate over the top entrance (complete with Scarlet lipsynching Kross's theme) and a character who claims to be death incarnate.
Kushida (Yujiro Kushida)
- Took a Level in Badass: Returned in 2020 after an extended layoff with a new and extremely aggressive in-ring style.
- Whole Costume Reference: Originally, to Marty McFly.
- Wrestling Psychology: Many of his strikes and other moves purposely target the arms as his go-to match-enders are a Cross Armbreaker variation and a modified Kimura called the Hoverboard Lock that also focuses on the arm/shoulder.
Dexter Lumis (Samuel Shaw)
- Combat Sadomasochist: Relishes choking out and torturing his opponents but also enjoys taking massive hits from them. This trait makes him a particularly disturbing opponent to fight against.
- Creepy Good: His demeanor and presence are extremely disturbing, like the pro wrestling equivalent of a psycho killer. But his first major move was to assist Velveteen Dream against the Undisputed Era.
- The Dreaded: His creepy demeanor and ruthless tactics have traumatized some members of the NXT roster into outright pants-crapping fear.
- Punk in the Trunk: Stuffed several members of The Undisputed Era in the trunk of his car and drove off with them to stop them from aiding Adam Cole during a match once. Roderick Strong still doesn't like talking about it.
- The Quiet One: He doesn't talk much, quasi-never, which adds to his spooky character.
- Stalker Without a Crush: Gives off this vibe, both to enemies and allies.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: Has one, which when combined with his Icy Blue Eyes and expressionless face, makes him very unnerving.
Mansoor (Mansoor Al-Shehail)
- Breakout Character: Of the Saudi Arabian recruits picked during the Greatest Royal Rumble events, Mansoor quickly attracted the wrestling fans' attention.
- A Hero to His Hometown: WWE leans on this heavily. As the first and (so far) only Saudi WWE superstar, whenever WWE holds events in Saudi Arabia (a couple of times a year), he makes an appearance, and typically receives a pop as loud as WWE's globally famous main-eventers. At the 2019 Crown Jewel, he even got to beat Cesaro completely clean.
Bronson Reed (Jermaine Haley)
- Acrofatic: Bronson Reed is very stout and almost rotund, yet routinely uses leaping sentons and can springboard off the second rope over an opponent's head to evade them. Finishing move is a splash off the top rope.
- The Big Guy: His basic role as a face.
- Death from Above: His Finishing Move. Upwards of 300 pounds coming off the top rope is a bad, bad day for the unfortunate sap that happens to be lying on the ground.
- Land Down Under: From the Black Forest of Australia.
- Red Baron: "Aus-zilla" "Thicc Boi". These were dropped in 2020 in favor of "The Colossal."
Kona Reeves (Noah Pang-Potjes)
- Dark-Skinned Blonde: Via Dye Hard.
- Enemy Mine: When a match between him and Rich Swann is interrupted by SAnitY, Reeves and Swann attempt to fight the psychotic group off together but are quickly beaten down.
- The Fighting Narcissist: He's rather proud of his looks and thinks that he's a much bigger star than he is.
- Informed Attractiveness: While Kona styles himself as being a handsome guy, he doesn't really look that special.
- Finishing Move: The Hawaiian Drop, a modified Samoan Drop where he releases the opponent early so they land face first.
- Miles Gloriosus: Typically his pre-match promos take much longer than it does for him to get his butt handed to him.
- Red Baron: "The Finest".
- Slasher Smile: Tends to flash a very creepy and evil looking grin, which the announcers and the other wrestlers find unnerving.
- Small Name, Big Ego: He thinks of himself as one of the "finest" superstars in NXT, when in reality he is barely above the level of jobber and all of his "fine" things are cheap knock-off brands.
Arturo Ruas (Adrian Jaoude)
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: His introductory vignettes have him smugly listing his credentials in several combat disciplines.
- Badass Family: His brother is Antoine Jaoude, an Olympic freestyle wrestler and mixed martial artist.
- Bald of Awesome: His alignment hasn't been established yet, but he's definitely sporting a shiny pate.
- Dance Battler: One of the aforementioned 'several combat disciplines' is Capoeira.
- Shout-Out: He took the name Ruas after Brazilian fighter Marco Ruas.
Leon Ruff (Dartanyon Ruffin)
- Dark Horse Victory: After probably a year or so firmly positioned as a Jobber, got a short run in 2020 as NXT North American Champion after becoming a proxy in the rivalry between Johnny Gargano and Damian Priest. He eventually lost it in a Triple Threat match with those two but actually got a successful defense in before that point (albeit via Prieat punching him to ensure Gargano lost).
- Fearless Fool: Rather sure of himself in an environment where virtually everyone outmatches him by a wide margin in both size and experience.
- Fragile Speedster: By necessity, as Ruff is tiny - even guys like Johnny Gargano (who was small enough to qualify for the original Cruiserweight Classic) outsize him by a considerable margin.
- Keet: Small and very exuberant.
- Signature Move: Double springboard leaping cutter.
Isaiah "Swerve" Scott (Stephon Strickland)
- Arch-Enemy: Had a long-running feud in 2020 with Santos Escobar.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Subverted. His nickname "Swerve" isn't considered his full ring name, although that's what most call him for simplicity's sake.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Noticeably underwent a personality change in late 2020, becoming more selfish, arrogant, and also with a considerably shorter fuse.
- Tournament Arc: Debuted in the 2019 NXT Breakout Tournament.
Timothy Thatcher (Timothy Moura)
- FaceHeel Turn: On the May 13 episode of NXT, Thatcher walked out on Matt Riddle during their match against Imperium, leading to them losing the NXT Tag Team Championships.
- Fake Brit: During his earlier career, Thatcher was presented as a British rugby player with a very fake English accent. No one is actually sure why.
- Sadist Teacher: Has a recurring segment where he teaches trainees at the performance center "Thatch as Thatch can" submission techniques, which consists of him applying submissions to his students with his own vicious twist for enjoyment.
- Signature Scene: The Fight Pit match, where the ring is surrounded by a high-walled cage and no ropes. He's 2-0 in it so far.
- Teeth Flying: Got a tooth knocked out fighting Matt Riddle not long after his debut. It wasn't replaced or bridged after the feud and has since become a mark of his character, lending credence to his image as a no-frills brawler that doesn't care about appearances.
- Worthy Opponent: Implicit in Pete Dunne's selection of Thatcher as his replacement when Dunne was unable to travel to defend his NXT Tag Team Titles with Matt Riddle. Dunne picked someone he knew from firsthand experience could get the job done. *
- Also happened with Tommaso Ciampa. The two spent several months antagonizing each other culminating in a series of matches where they beat each other half to death. They became a tag team not long after this.
The Velveteen Dream (Patrick Clark)
Shotzi Blackheart (Ashley Urbanski)
- Aerith and Bob: "Shotzi" is a very unconventional first name.
- But Not Too Foreign: She's part Filipino.
- Cool Helmet: She wears a horned helmet in her entrances.
- Death-or-Glory Attack: Building a reputation on the internet for extremely risky spots. It's arguably part of her appeal, but it's also caused her to take some nasty bumps.
- Early-Bird Cameo: She was originally one of the prospective contestants in season 6 of WWE Tough Enough, but was cut from the final lineup due to an underlying heart condition.
- Foreshadowing: WWE dedicated a short video to her receiving an NXT contract months before she debuted on NXT TV, which wasn't typical for new NXT recruits and probably an early indication of her later featured role on television.
- One Steve Limit: Blackheart was used as a Red Baron by both the late Owen Hart and Tommaso Ciampa.
- Parts Unknown: Billed from the Black Lagoon.
- Tank Goodness: She makes an entrance by riding on a miniature tank. In fact, she seems to have a fascination with tanks in general.
- Wicked Heart Symbol: Has a heart and crossbones symbol on the back of her jacket.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Or in her case, green.
Vanessa Borne (Danielle Kamela)
- '80s Hair: Her hair is styled like she was at GLOW during their heyday.
- Ambiguously Brown: Due to her Mixed Ancestry - she has Samoan heritage through one of her parents. It took a while before her Samoan ancestry was brought up, which was unsurprisingly after she used a Samoan Drop.
- Boisterous Weakling: And how. Most of her NXT career has consisted of her getting herself into trouble, usually by challenging someone tougher than she is. Seems to have only gotten worse once she teamed up with Aaliyah.
- Boobs of Steel: Her bust is one of the biggest among her peers and she mostly relies on hard-hitting power-based moves in the ring.
- Cool Teacher: Was trained by Rikishi and Gangrel (incidentally, the same two guys that trained Rusev.)
- Hard Head: Aside from usually using her head as a weapon, there was a moment in NXT when she tanked a headbutt from Dakota Kai shortly after Kai did the same to her.
- Jobber: She is pretty solidly at the bottom of the NXT women's division, with even Aliyah having more wins than her.
- Red Baron: "The Vision"
- Use Your Head: This is one of her most frequent strikes.
Kayden Carter (Allyssa "Lacey" Lane)
- Put on a Bus: Requested her release from WWE at one point and even retired for a time because of injuries and doubts about continuing in the wrestling business. The Bus Came Back several months later and she has been heavily involved on television ever since.
- Tag Team: Frequently pairs together with Kayden Carter as Team Ninja.
- Waif-Fu: Most of Kacy's offense. Listed at 5' tall and 95 lbs., she is likely the smallest in-ring competitor in WWE, full stop, and is a former gymnast.
Raquel Gonzalez (Victoria Gonzalez)
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Her being a Perpetual Frowner is a telling sign she's not approachable.
- Amazonian Beauty: Tall, beautiful, and built and wrestles like a brute.
- Big Guy, Little Guy: With Dakota Kai.
- The Brute: She has a brutal smashmouth style of wrestling and enjoys brutalizing other women.
- Distaff Counterpart:
- Her joining a smaller heel wrestler after helping her win a match because she empathised with her is very close to Erick Rowan joining Daniel Bryan.
- She's also been compared to Diesel during his run as Shawn Michaels' heavy, with Mauro Ranallo even bestowing on her the nickname "Big Mama Cool" to reflect this.
- The Giant: She's 6 feet tall, causing her to tower over the rest of her division.
- Statuesque Stunner: She's 6 feet tall and an Amazonian Beauty.
- Villainous Friendship: With Dakota Kai. She views helping her as an act of solidarity with a kindred spirit downtrodden and abandoned by the rest of the NXT Women's Division.
Dakota Kai (Cheree Crowley)
- Arch-Enemy: Dakota has been tormented by Shayna Baszler since the start of 2018, being Shayna's first victim in her NXT debut match. Following encounters had Shayna intimidating Dakota to the point she couldn't do anything. During a title match against Shayna a few months later, Dakota was too scared to fight and lost the match without putting up much offense. The feud eventually has Dakota allying with fellow Shayna rivals Io Shirai and Kairi Sane, and Taking a Level in Badass by the time of their third match (she still lost, but put Baszler through a lot more punishment along the way).
- Break the Cutie:
- Dakota's entire ordeal of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of Shayna Baszler, culminating in a spirited but unambiguous defeat at Baszler's hands. Bianca Belair seems to be stepping into the role of Kai's next tormentor.
- After spending nearly the whole of 2019 recovering from a torn ACL, Dakota returns hoping to capture the NXT Women's Championship, only for her return to be overshadowed by her friend Tegan Nox, who also returned from a long injury. When the first women's WarGames was announced, Dakota was hoping to be one of Rhea Ripley's team only for Mia Yim to be called in instead, especially after she lost to Shayna for the fourth time. It took an attack on Mia Yim the night of the event for Ripley to finally insert Dakota into the match but by that time she was already broken. See below
- Cavalry Betrayal: At NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2019. She was drafted to Rhea Ripley's WarGames team after a mystery assailant took out Mia Yim before the PPV started. But after she was let out of the cage, she turned back and attacked her friend Tegan Nox, leaving her unable to compete, and left Ripley and Candice LeRae to face a four-on-two numbers disadvantage. And then she later revealed (confirmed, really) that she was the one who took out Mia so she could get herself into position for this.
- Creepy Souvenir: Since becoming a heel she has taken to coming to the ring with Tegan Nox's knee brace, which she ripped off her leg at WarGames.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Her heel turn was motivated by being left out of Rhea Ripley's WarGames team, which is understandable but doesn't justify the lengths she went to for revenge, or what she did to Mia Yim and Tegan Nox.
- Distaff Counterpart:
- The suddenness and vicious physicality of her FaceHeel Turn, as well as her post-betrayal behavior (including said betrayal being symbolically represented in part by a knee brace) is taking some obvious cues from the now-infamous heel turn of Tommaso Ciampa on Johnny Gargano from a couple of years before Kai's own turn.
- Besides the sudden and vicious nature of her turn against a established teammate, the fact that she would afterwards take credit for the success of the team via putting on a twist on a Red Baron she had during her run with said team ("The Captain of Team Kick"), recalls Seth Rollins's infamous turn on The Shield, and how afterwards he would use the nickname he was given during his run with the stable, "The Architect of the Shield", to take credit for its success.
- Her use of a much larger wrestler as an enforcer after said larger wrestler helped her win a match recalls Daniel Bryan during his Planet's Champion phase.
- Her being joined by a larger wrestler is also the latest in a long line of acts very reminiscent of Shawn Michaels during the time he adopted Diesel as his heavy. And going back to the FaceHeel Turn against a tag team partner, Michaels of course made the mother of all turns against Marty Jannetty.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: A key factor of her FaceHeel Turn in 2019. Despite the hype of her return, she immediately becomes The Chew Toy again which include getting her face sprayed by Asuka's green mist. Then, when Rhea Ripley is finding members for the upcoming WarGames match, both Tegan Nox and Candice LeRae were immediately chosen while she needs to compete in a match against Shayna Baszler in order to prove herself. Not only did she lose the match, but Rhea chose Mia Yim to be the final member of the team while Dakota was told straight to her face that "she's just not cut out for it".
- Evil Costume Switch: Went from very colorful outfits to wearing a lot more black after her FaceHeel Turn.
- Evil Wears Black: Her Evil Costume Switch above saw her ditch her colorful wrestling gears in favor of darker and muted colors.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Perhaps not coincidentally, her hair is styled very differently during the night of her FaceHeel Turn, and has kept it that way since.
- FaceHeel Turn: Viciously attacking her friend Tegan for seemingly no reason, including removing her knee brace to attack her surgically-repaired leg. The commentary team were aghast. And that was after she hospitalized Mia Yim so she could take her place on Team Ripley, specifically to set herself up for the attack on Tegan.
- Finishing Move: The Kairopractor (a sunset flip into a double knee backbreaker). She previously used a double foot stomp from the top rope. After returning from injury, she adopted a finisher called "Go To Kick" which is similar to the GTS but involves her kicking with her foot instead of her knee.
- Hard Head: During her Progress Wrestling Chapter 71 match, Jinny delivered several headbutts to Dakota, only for them to hurt Jinny more. Dakota shouted "I'm Samoan!" before dropping Jinny with a headbutt of her own. She delivered one in a similar fashion to Vanessa Borne in NXT.
- Jobber: Her first appearance in NXT was being squashed by Nia Jax in 2015 before signing in 2017.
- Kick Chick: Her offense includes a ton of kicks, to the point where she is called the Captain of Team Kick.
- Oh, Crap!: She is clearly scared out of her mind whenever Shayna Baszler appears, as Shayna had previously attempted to break her arm during a match that kept her sidelined for weeks.
- Precision F-Strike: After her FaceHeel Turn. Production truck cut that, but after viciously attacking Tegan Nox, Kai called Rhea Ripley and Candice LeRae "filthy cunts."
- Red Baron: The Captain of Team Kick.
- Signature Move: A pair of running Big Boots to a cornered opponent. One while the opponent is standing, followed by another while the opponent is sitting.
- Use Your Head: Even though the majority of her striking arsenal consists of kicks, she sometimes favors the use of headbutts in her matches.
- Villainous Friendship: With Raquel Gonzalez. She views her as her only true friend in the division.
- Waif-Fu: As one of the smallest women in WWE, her opponents nearly always have a size advantage on her. Needless to say, that doesn't prevent Dakota from kicking the crap out of them.
Xia Li (Zhao Xia)
- Ascended Extra: Downplayed, but Xia was one of several NXT wrestlers who showed up for the 2019 Women's Royal Rumble match, and since then has gradually moved up the card after primarily working house shows for most of her time with the company.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She is respectful to both allies and opponents so long as they do not disrespect her. Notably, she opened her fights during the Mae Young Classic by bowing to her opponents. But insult or slap her and she'll remind you that she's a highly-trained martial artist whose kicks pack a punch.
- Boyish Short Hair: She has a short bob cut and throws a mean kick.
- Combat Hand Fan: She walks to the ring with such a fan, although she's never used it as a weapon.
- Friendly Rivalry: With Taynara Conti, another female NXT wrestler whose gimmick incorporates martial arts (judo, in her case). They have fought together and opposite each other, and gotten along fairly well each time.
- I Know Karate: As the announcers never hesitate to remind you, she knows kung fu, taekwondo and other martial arts. She incorporates such moves into her fighting style.
- Kick Chick: Uses kicks a lot in her moveset, with some variation of a kick usually functioning as her Finishing Move.
- Minidress of Power: Generally wears one as part of her ring gear.
Mercedes Martinez (Jazmin Benitez)
Ember Moon (Adrienne Reese)
Tegan Nox (Steffanie Newell)
- Et Tu, Brute?: Was viciously beat down by her friend Dakota Kai and left unable to compete at WarGames. The sheer pain as a result of it left her screaming bloody murder and openly weeping, to the point she was unable to compete. And yet according to a tweet she made a day or two later, the emotional pain of it was worse than the physical.
- Finishing Move: The Shiniest Wizard, a shining wizard attack using her leg with the titanium knee brace. This move is a holdover from her earlier identity as Nixon Newell at Fight Club: Pro.
- Game-Breaking Injury: Has had serious issues with her knees, where consecutive freak injuries in the Mae Young Classic kept her out of the ring for the better part of two years. (Invariably, this gets worked into Kayfabe where Heel opponents will always go after her knees.) Dakota Kai exploited this for huge heat during her FaceHeel Turn, which basically consisted of a few attacks followed by about 30 seconds of Kai rapid-fire-slamming a cage door onto Nox's knee in a frenzy. Unfortunately, 2020 would see her suffer yet another legitimate injury to her ACL, which would result in her missing most of that year.
- A Shared Suffering: She and Dakota Kai had knee injuries within a few months of each other and did rehab training together, sparking up a friendship.
- Tag Team: Returned as part of one with Dakota Kai.
- Whole Costume Reference: Has started modeling her ring gear on the outfit of Carol Danvers as seen in Captain Marvel (2019), complete with airforce bomber jacket.
Rhea Ripley (Demi Bennett)
- Alliterative Name: Rhea Ripley.
- Amazonian Beauty: Tall, muscular and beautiful.
- Anti-Hero: Even as a face she's arrogant, bloodthirsty and creatively violent.
- Boobs of Steel: Her move sets are mostly power-based. It's not obvious from her gear but she's decently endowed.
- Catchphrase: Fond of saying she will 'rip' certain things/people apart. Three guesses why that's a favorite word of hers.
- Chained by Fashion: Some of her ring gear, including various jackets and pants she's worn, feature small dangling metal chains. These can also be seen on her name as shown on her titantron.
- Character Development: At first, her HeelFace Turn didn't mean much other than that she was primarily targeting heels she didn't like. The months that followed gradually changed this, with her coming to the aid of Piper Niven against Jinny and Jazzy Gabert, taking charge of the female faces of NXT following the announcement of a women's WarGames match and forming bonds with them as a result of fighting Team Baszler, and responding to Dakota Kai's heel turn and subsequent heelish behaviour by coming to the aid of Candice LeRae during a post-match beatdown by Kai and setting Kai up for an attack by Mia Yim after learning she'd sabotaged Team Ripley before they even reached the stage by taking out Yim to weasel her way onto the team during the WarGames Pre-Show. All-around Rhea is now decisively a face, albeit still with a hard edge in the form of her pre-existing character traits.
- Dawn of an Era: Resurfaced in the new NXT UK brand and became the brand's first-ever Women's Champion a few weeks after its launch.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Despite turning face, she still wears black leather ring gear and has a rock metal entrance music.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: After Shayna Bazler dominated the NXT women's locker room for two whole years and held the NXT Women's champion for 400 days (along with a long undefeated streak), Rhea ended it at the December 18th, 2019 episode of NXT.
- Early Installment Weirdness: She was a traditional Face wearing a different red gear in her debut in the first Mae Young Classic. She would debut her familiar look and attitude the following year.
- Evil Wears Black: At least until her HeelFace Turn.
- Eviler Than Thou: Subverted. At first her conflict with Shayna Baszler looked like it would be this, but then she tacitly turned face, and there went that.
- Finishing Move: The Riptide, a pumphandle powerbomb.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Candice LeRae, and Mia Yim and Tegan Nox to a lesser extent, as a result of the build-up to TakeOver: WarGames. Dakota Kai would have been this if she hadn't betrayed all of them.
- Good Is Not Soft: Her HeelFace Turn hasn't removed her aggressive demeanor.
- HeelFace Turn: After a consistent run as a heel at WWE, she was switched to face for her feud with Shayna Baszler.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Black leather ring gear really demonstrates her dark and violent moods in the ring.
- The Hero: Since moving to the main NXT roster, she has effectively become the highest ranking female face in NXT, and was positioned as being in prime position to take Shayna Baszler's NXT Women's Championship more or less from the first moment they came face to face. She now boasts the impressive accomplishments of scaring Shayna Baszler enough to make her force a disqualification during their championship match, leading the face team in NXT's first WarGames match to victory despite a two-to-four numbers disadvantage, and being the leader of NXT's Women's team at Survivor Series, which she also led to victory.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: She was the one who goaded Charlotte Flair to challenge for her NXT title at WrestleMania 36 after winning the 2020 Women's Royal Rumble match. Charlotte ended up beating Rhea for her 12th championship.
- Large and in Charge: When she led her team during the 2019 WarGames and Survivor Series events, she visibly towered over her teammates.
- Metal Scream: Her entrance theme opens with a loud "THIS IS MY BRUTALITY!" followed by shrieking.
- Orgasmic Combat: Despite her match with Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 36 being widely praised, a number of fans and even critics have noted their grunts to be too... "distracting".
- Outside-Context Problem: Served as this to Shayna Baszler in NXT. Most of Baszler's past opponents, on top of being smaller/not as strong as Baszler physically, had come up through the ranks in the American NXT Women's locker room and were therefore subject to several months to years of Shayna's mind games and gang beatings by the Horsewomen. These would build to matches in front of massive crowds at Takeover events, whereas she rarely fought full matches with any stakes on the Wednesday night shows, creating an atmosphere where Baszler was already in opponents' heads before matches started, giving her a psychological advantage on top of her physical dominance. Rhea had established herself in the UK first and had already won a title, and as a result wasn't remotely afraid of Shayna. She was also one of the first superstars (except possibly Bianca Belair) who was Baszler's physical equal, perhaps even superior. Their match ended up being on the last live weekly show of the year (as the following Wednesday fell on Christmas). Baszler found herself somewhat on the back foot because of this combination of factors and eventually ended up losing her championship.
- Reformed, but Not Tamed: She's as brash and aggressive after turning Face as she was when she was a Heel.
- Statuesque Stunner: An Amazonian Beauty standing at 5'9.
- Tournament Arc: Competed in the first two Mae Young Classics, and then won the 2018 NXT UK tournament for the newly instated NXT UK Women's Championship.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: When Rhea chose Mia Yim as the final member of her WarGames team, she also used the wrong words to Dakota Kai, telling her that "she didn't make the cut". She didn't mean anything by it, but given that Dakota was already having a terrible night, including failing to prove herself and being defeated by Shayna Baszler for the fourth time, Rhea accidentally laid the groundwork for Dakota's FaceHeel Turn.
- The inaugural NXT UK Women's Champion. She also led the victorious team in the first ever female WarGames match.
- As of her 2019 defeat of Shayna Baszler, she is the first competitor in WWE to hold a singles title on NXT brands in multiple countriesnote , as she has held both the American and United Kingdom NXT Women's Championships.
- Use Your Head: Beginning at NXT Takeover: Wargames (2019), she would frequently use headbutts during her matches.
Scarlett (Elizabeth Chihaia)
Io Shirai (Masami Odate)
- The Ace: In Real Life. While she is heralded as being among the three best female wrestlers in the world alongside Kairi Sane and Mayu Iwatani by Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter, some magazines outright call her "arguably the best wrestler in the world regardless of gender" and a "treasure of female wrestling".
- Arch-Enemy: Io had been helping out Kairi against her feud with Shayna Bazler and her fellow Horsewoman ever since her NXT debut. Even after Kairi moved to the main roster, Io continued to feud with them, as a revenge for Shayna almost breaking Kairi's arm on her last match at NXT.
- Ax-Crazy: After her FaceHeel Turn, she sort of... well, lost it a little bit.
- Badass Adorable: Outdone by Kairi Sane in the Adorable department, but still qualifies. As for the Badass... she's one of the only three women to have ever pinned Shayna Baszler, and as with any other wrestler, can kick a lot of ass in Real Life.
- Bare Your Midriff: As per usual in women's wrestling.
- Big Damn Heroes: At Takeover: Wargames II, running in to support Kairi Sane after a failed attempt to do so already by Dakota Kai. While Sane would eventually lose the match, Shirai succeeded in neutralizing Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir from their constant interference in the match.
- Bored with Insanity: How her HeelFace Turn is essentially presented. Considering the reason for her Sanity Slippage and FaceHeel Turn in the first place is her frustration over not winning the NXT Women's Title, Io calming down when she finally wins it makes sense.
- Break the Cutie: Was forced to watch her best friend get her arm broken kayfabe-wise. Then her new ally, Candice LeRae, also was jumped and beaten by the Horsewomen. Then the Horsewomen interfered in her match at TakeOver XXV, allowing Shayna Baszler to pick up the win, thus denying her the opportunity to prove that she's the best and avenge Kairi and everyone else on the roster who's been tormented by Baszler. Let's just say Shayna's celebration didn't last long... Ultimately, one more loss to Baszler in a Steel Cage match proved to be the final straw as Io snapped on Candice.
- Call-Back: During an interview, she mentions that she and Kairi Sane are good friends, referring to their on-off rivalry and friendship at World Wonder Ring Stardom.
- Contralto of Danger: Hailed as perhaps the greatest women's wrestler in the world, Io has a low, rough voice to match, delivering most of her promos in a near-growl that contrasts her tiny frame.
- Cool Mask: Io and her sister Mio were former Luchadors in Mexico, wearing cat-like masks. She continues to wear her mask in WWE during her entrances before removing it after posing at the turnbuckle.
- Dark Reprise: Post FaceHeel Turn, her theme changed from the upbeat "Genius of the Sky" to the slower "Tokyo Shock".
- Evil Costume Switch: Went from very colorful outfits to wearing a lot more black after her FaceHeel Turn.
- Evil Is Petty: In her first match with Candace LaRae after her turn, she got mad about not being able to pin her and resorted to a modified Koji Clutch where she trapped Candace's arms so she couldn't tap out, forcing her to pass out.
- Evil Wears Black: Her Evil Costume Switch above saw her ditch her colorful wrestling gears in favor of black leather.
- FaceHeel Turn: Devastated after narrowly losing to Baszler in a cage match for the NXT Women's Championship, Shirai turned her wrath on friend Candace LaRae, suplexing her onto an open chair.
- Finishing Move: As a Face, a very beautiful Moonsault in which she gets lots of hang time. As a Heel, her moonsault seems to have morphed - perhaps by design - to a lower-angle rotation that favors landing impact over height, more akin to Lita or Seiya Sanada.
- Fridge Horror: She was forced to watch her best friend get her arm broken in kayfabe. A few months prior, she had to watch her suffer through an acute anaphylactic shock that could've killed her in Real Life. One can only imagine how painful it must be for Io to even think of any harm coming Kairi's way, even if in a show.
- The Glomp: Not as bad as Bayley, but since allying with Kairi Sane and Dakota Kai, she loves to hug them tightly.
- HeelFace Turn: At some indeterminate point in 2020 from vicious, slightly psychotic lone-wolf villain to laser-focused, enigmatic anti-heroine.
- Hero-Worshipper: Rey Mysterio Jr. is her favorite wrestler and she even has 619 as part of her moveset.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Kairi Sane.
- Hidden Depths:
- Behind the unhinged and callous woman Io became since her FaceHeel Turn lies a devastated soul with a broken pride who can't accept that her failure to defeat Shayna Baszler is entirely her own fault.
- As a heel, she also plays to the crowd rather a lot, perhaps indicating that she misses their approval/acceptance despite her assertions to the contrary. She also still clearly holds a soft spot for WWE uber-Face Rey Mysterio, as she is seen using the Tiger Feint Kick (aka the 619) as a Signature Move.
- I Have the High Ground: She is known as the "Genius of the Sky" and uses a Diving Moonsault as her finisher.
- Lightning Bruiser: You wouldn't expect a high-flyer like Io to do jacknife suplexes and Piledrivers off the ring apron.
- Ms. Fanservice: Io did a lot of gravure photoshoots in Japan as a part of Stardom, but she never shied away from showing more skin than some of the other women, to the point where she did completely nude (but censored) shoots. She even appeared in a JAV at one point! (in a non-sexual role)
- Mythology Gag: Her Heel attire is reminiscent of her Lucha Underground one.
- Red Baron: The Genius of the Sky. After her FaceHeel Turn, Mauro Ranallo also gave ther the nickname "The Joshi Judas".
- Red Is Heroic: Io's wrestling gear as a Face is dominantly red.
- Slasher Smile: After turning heel.
- Sky Pirate: When teaming with the "Pirate Princess" Kairi Sane, they are called the "Sky Pirates".
- Villain Protagonist: Has a compelling reason for her FaceHeel Turn, a point to prove and a core drive for her actions, as well as some Hidden Depths, despite being a heel.
- When She Smiles: After spending an entire year being mostly a Perpetual Frowner with few but definitely unsettling grins, Io gradually pulls a HeelFace Turn once she finally wins the NXT Women's Championship. With it is the return of Io's famous beam.
Tag Teams and Stables
As a Team
- Catchphrase: EVERRISE RULES!
As a Team
- Boring, but Practical: Their gimmick is just two tough dudes that like knocking your face in.
- Crowd Chant: "ONE-TWO!" *clap* *clap* Originated from their, uh... creative signature poses (Oney holds up one finger, Burch two). Could also refer to the "one-two", as in "punches."
- Expy/Spiritual Successor: Their unassuming appearances and no-frills approach to competition brings to mind The Revival.
- Fan Nickname: Sort of? They're sometimes called the "Brit-Am Brawlers" after how Mauro Ranallo refers to them often but it doesn't seem to be their actual team name, assuming they even have one.
- FaceHeel Turn: After years of coming close to winning the tag titles, they finally do so by teaming up with Pat McAfee and turning heel to steal a win against Breezango.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Both are firmly under the Cruiserweight threshold - but they hit hard and don't have much problem throwing guys larger than themselves around the ring.
Danny Burch (Martin Harris)
- Face of a Thug: He looks like a London gangster.
- Red Baron: On the new NXT UK spinoff, he's known as "The Guv'nor"
- The Rival: To Oney Lorcan.
- Tag Team: After several matches worth of beating the crap out of each other, he and Lorcan came to respect the other's toughness so much that they decided, "why not team up and beat the crap out of everybody else?"
Oney Lorcan (Christopher Girard)
- Blood Knight: He loves a good fight.
- Bully Hunter: Went after Andrade "Cien" Almas for pushing around Hoho Lun in the gym, and when Lars Sullivan began targeting No Way Jose, Oney got pissed off and challenged him to a match.
- Dark Is Not Evil: He looks scary and is a brutal fighter but he's actually cast as a good guy at heart, standing up for people that get picked on in the locker room.
- FaceHeel Turn: Seems to have had one on 205 Live, where he beat the crap out of an exhausted Cedric Alexander for... accidentally stepping on his jacket during a match? (To be fair, he was already very obviously pissed off at having lost to Alexander a couple of weeks previously.)
- Face of a Thug: Has one of the nastiest looking scowls in WWE.
- Glass Cannon: Relatively small in stature but can hit very hard.
- Signature Move: A running blockbuster and a blockbuster from the top rope. He also tends to grab people by the face and slap the shit out of them.
- Kiai: Usually followed with a vicious elbow.
- Worthy Opponent: After he beat Danny Burch and then Burch beat him, the two gained a lot of respect for each other and decided to try becoming a tag team.
El Hijo del Fantasma/Santos Escobar (Jorge Luis Alcantar Bolly)
- Badass Boast: To go with the unmasking below:"I am Santos Escobar, I am the NXT Cruiserweight Champion, and no one can touch me!"
- Cool Mask
- The Don: Plays with this trope with his suited henchmen, obsession with his dynasty, and brutal beatings and kidnappings giving off a cartel vibe. Given that he was responsible for the original disappearances of the two men that became his muscle later, it's implied that his organization is larger than even what is shown on screen, at the very least featuring a Wheelman and some other unnamed subordinates.
- Dramatic Unmask: Both him and two of the mysterious men in his employ, at his FaceHeel Turn, revealing himself as Santos Escobar.
- FaceHeel Turn: Fantasma joined forces with the masked men who appeared in the NXT Cruiserweight Championship tournament final, who revealed themselves as Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde (two men who'd been "kidnapped" by several other masked henchmen) and attacked Drake Maverick, then unmasked himself and revealed his "true name" to be Santos Escobar, turning heel in the process.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Seen often in suits when he's not wrestling - particularly as Santos Escobar.
- Distressed Dude: In early March 2020 he was abducted in the NXT parking lot by a group of masked luchadores and was missing for a few months. It was eventually revealed that the whole thing was faked as part of Santos Escobar's new stable formation.
- Jobber: Typically, his appearances end with him looking at the lights.
Joaquin Wilde (Michael Paris)
- Distressed Dude: In April 2020, Joaquin was abducted in the NXT parking lot by a group of masked luchadores like Raul Mendoza had been a few weeks prior and was missing for a few months. They eventually turned up again as the other members of Santos Escobar's new stable.
- You Look Familiar: If you watched early 2010's TNA, you may recognize him as former X-Division competitor and one-time champion Zema Ion.
Nash Carter (Zachary Green)
Wes Lee (Deveon Everhart)
Riddick Moss (Michael Rallis) & Tino Sabatelli (Sabatino Piscitelli)
- Awesome McCoolname: Riddick Moss.
- The Bus Came Back: In early 2020, Moss showed up on the main roster to help Mojo Rawley hang on to the 24/7 title, only to win it with his own surprise roll-up a few weeks into the gig.
- Friendly Rivalry: With one another at the Performance Center.
- Jerkass: Nearly every appearance of theirs involve them antagonizing and mocking somebody for no reason other than that they enjoy it.
- Jerk Jock: Both are former college football defensive players, with Sabby having made it to the NFL, and are among the highest achievers in Performance Center workout/training drills.
- Jobber: They are at the bottom of the NXT tag team division, with their handful of wins only coming from cheating.
- Put on a Bus: Sabatelli tore his pec in April 2018 and had to be shelved for surgery, which in turn left Riddick Moss in the wind. Neither have been seen much since.
- Rich Bitch: Your stock big money athlete with nice suits and fancy cars in tag team form.
- The Rival: Their first major rivals seem to be the Street Profits. Now if only they could actually beat them
- Small Name, Big Ego: Due to their past as rich football players, they see themselves as above everyone else in NXT, even though they are constantly losing.
As a Team
- Beauty Is Bad: Essentially the group's main shtick. They're a Heel Power Stable consisting of good looking people.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: The post-Chelsea Green incarnation has the trio of Stone (Caucasian), Aaliyah (Canadian of West Asian origins), and Mercedes Martinez (Latin-American).
Robert Stone (Robert Strauss)
- Butt-Monkey: Nothing ever goes his way. In the few times that did, they're more or less pyrrhic victories.
- The Chew Toy: His misfortunes are always Played for Laughs.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite being The Chew Toy, Stone is a noted midcard and Tag Team wrestler in TNA during the first half of the 2010s.
- The Dandy: He's always dressed to the nines.
- I Was Beaten by a Girl: Shotzi Blackheart and Rhea Ripley have both attacked him at different points.
- The One Guy: He recruits female wrestlers in his eponymous stable.
- The Pawn: Chelsea Green just used him as a stepping stone.
- Running Gag: Stone gets his legs run over by Shotzi Blackheart's mini-tank once every couple of weeks.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: As mentioned above The Dandy, he's always wearing suits.
Aliyah (Nhooph Al-Areebi)
Jessi Kamea (Jessica Elaban)
- Girlish Pigtails: Styles her hair in pigtails to add to her "nerdy girl" image. This was eventually dropped after she began appearing on TV.
- Nerd Glasses: Again, her gimmick is a nerdy girl, so glasses are a given. Like the pigtails, this was dropped from her character.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: After her first few appearances as a Face Jobber, she eventually turned heel and was recruited to the Robert Stone Brand.
Adam Cole (Austin Jenkins)
Bobby Fish (Robert Anthony Fish)See also: reDRagon
Kyle O'Reilly (Kyle Greenwood)See also: reDRagon
Roderick Strong (Christopher Lindsey)
Johnny Gargano (John Anthony Nicholas Gargano)
Candice LeRae (Candice Gargano, née Dawson)
Austin Theory (Austin White)
- Dumb Jock: Downplayed, but there are hints in-character of him not being the sharpest tool in the shed. And then he joined The Way and this was played up.
- Jerk Jock: Oh geez. Plays the 'arrogant young superior athlete' role to the hilt.
- Like a Son to Me: Johnny and Candice treat him like their child, with Indi playing the role of exasperated sister.
- Power Stable: His alliance with Andrade, Angel Garza and Zelina Vega in 2020. He was betrayed by them on the May 18th episode of WWE Raw, but later that night he was confronted by Seth Rollins and joined Rollins' stable. After his brief stint there, he was sent back to NXT where, not long after reappearing, he joined up with Johnny Gargano and "The Way". So basically three Power Stables in less than a year.
- Tag Team: With Angel Garza and Murphy on the main roster, and now with Johnny Gargano back as part of The Way.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: After becoming a member of The Way, Theory's intelligence plummeted, to the point he did not even realize he had been kidnapped by Dexter Lumis and thought that being chloroformed was just a really good night's rest.
NXT House Show talentContains Superstars who have yet to become full-time members of either NXT television roster and primarily work house shows. If they do show up on-screen it is mainly as a jobber or for short storylines.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: His debut in the Greatest Royal Rumble wasn't followed up by an NXT TV appearance or...at all, really. He hasn't been seen since.
- The Giant: 6'10" and well over 300 pounds.
- Unexpected Character: Debuted in the Greatest Royal Rumble in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, despite not even having made a proper debut on NXT TV yet.
- Air Guitar: Rocks out for the crowd and gives encore on his air guitar.
- Careful with That Axe: Surely you wouldn't expect a huge guy like Bugez to let out high-pitched, almost falsetto screams.
- '80s Hair: He rocks a glorious mullet.
- Large Ham: Eric has no inside voice, being always intense.
- Porn Stache: As an ''80 rocker' character, he has a bushy mustache.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After several weeks of hype, he debuted on NXT only to get the crap kicked out of him by a rampaging Samoa Joe, and hasn't been seen since. (Apparently he's transitioned into a trainer's role, though whether it's permanent remains to be seen.)
- Expy: From a background standpoint, Baron Corbin. Both men are about the same size, and both have the similar background of being fringe offensive linemen in the NFL before wrestling.
- Identical Stranger: Take Simon Miller from What Culture Wrestling, make him bigger (and Simon's already not a small lad) and you've basically got Dan Matha.
- Negated Moment of Awesome: Whether or not it would've actually been "awesome" is anyone's guess - but NXT spent a good month or two airing vignettes hyping up his debut and having the commentary team put him over. When the day finally came, he came out to the ring only to get his ass kicked by Samoa Joe before whatever opponent he would have had could show up. He hasn't been seen on the show since.
Jeet Rama (Satender Ved Pal)
Taishan Dong (Dong Jianjun)
Kavita Devi (Kavita Dalai)
MJ Jenkins (Monique Jenkins)
Zoey Stark (Lacey Ryan)
Blue Pants (Leva Bates)
- Ascended Extra: She was initially brought on to job to Carmella, but somehow managed to get so over with the crowd that she was given more matches and eventually showed up at Takeover: Brooklyn.
- Atrocious Alias: Seriously, Blue Pants? THAT was the best they could come up with for her?
- Big Damn Heroes: Showed up at the last minute to help the Vaudevillains deal with Alexa Bliss during their title match at Takeover: Brooklyn.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Her entrance music is a recording of Big Cass singing the theme from The Price Is Right.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": No one has even tried to ask if she has a name or identity outside the nickname Enzo and Cass gave her.
- Handicapped Badass: She's partially deaf.
- Mauve Shirt: Need to get someone quick heat? Bring Blue Pants in and have the heel destroy her.
- Role-Ending Misdemeanor: Possibly. According to rumor, the reason she disappeared from shows was because she got drunk and mouthed off to WWE management. Leva herself has denied this, and appeared on NXT a few weeks after the "news" with a new theme. Either way, she hasn't appeared since mid 2015.
- Whole Costume Reference: Her outfit initially drew comparisons to old X-Men uniforms, what with essentially being a Kitty Pryde cosplay with the X belt removed, but after the release of Fallout4, it was slightly adjusted to match the vault boy outfit.